Sunday, March 29, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 3/30 - 4/5)

Wow, we have been busy this past week!  I kept to my meal plan for the most part, subbing quick salads one night that I just didn't have time to cook.  I also didn't end up with pasta on my birthday on Friday, my boys insisted that we celebrate with Jets Pizza.  They were in tears when I was trying to convince them I wanted pasta not pizza.  It wasn't worth the fight, we got pizza.  Check back later this week for recaps of my birthday fun and Zumba toning training last week!

Today we have one more day of birthday celebration and my brother should be here soon.  So I'll quickly share what we're eating this week.  It's spring break so I will have a little more time (and energy) to cook this week.

Monday - Unstuffed Cabbage - held over from last week
Tuesday - Penne and Vodka Sauce with Sausage - held over from last week
Wednesday - Quinoa Cashew Salad
Thursday - Spaghetti Squash with Pesto & Meatballs
Friday - Zoodles & Tomatoes - We have a birthday party tonight.  I plan to eat this before so I avoid the pizza.  The guys will eat at the party.
Saturday - Chicken Parmesan Casserole - We have Easter stuff going on all day.  I'm hoping to make this on Friday so we can pop it in the oven when we get home.
Sunday - Easter breakfast at my brother's house and then something quick and easy (leftovers, freezer meal, salad) for dinner since we're on our own.  We decided not to do a big dinner this year and relax and recharge instead.

Water Infuser Flavor - Strawberry & Cantaloupe.  Not sure how this will come out, but since both things are in season, they are very cheap & we have an overabundance of both of them.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Catching Up!)

So it's been nearly 3 weeks since you've heard from me, other than a few meal plans.  It's been a crazy time and I can't seem to find my groove.  I'm not sure what's going on, other than the fact that things are just really busy right now.  Adrian & I are working a lot, I'm very busy volunteering with the PTO and the boys are busy with school & playdates.

We haven't had anything big happen recently, just life going along.  Here are a few updates from our past few weeks.

Well Checks
Zak and Daniel had their annual well checks last week.  Daniel continues to be my perfectly average child weighing in at 44 1/2 lbs and 45 1/2 inches tall, both 50% for his age. Zak continues to be off the charts & my largest child to date weighing in at 46 lbs and 39 1/4 inches, both off the charts for his age. And yes those are the correct numbers, my 3 year old weighs more than my 6 year old!!  The doctor said they are both doing great!!

Play Dates
Daniel continues to be the social butterfly in our family.  He has multiple friends that he plays with at school and we have 2 friends that we play with after school every week.  We also have a few other friends that we play with occasionally.  AJ has been making progress in this area too, having a few friends that he has play dates with as well.  We are looking forward to spring and summer break when we will have more time for play dates!  And we have been able to get outside!!  YAY!
Bubble Fun!
AJ and Daniel continue to excel at school.  They are both either at or above grade level for everything.  We will get their 3rd quarter report cards next week and I'm expecting another great report.  They did take their one "free day" off of school last week.  On Thursday they got up and no one wanted to go to school.  Adrian & I give them one day off per year, kind of like a mental healthy day.  They enjoyed their day of doing nothing.
Daniel playing during inside recess
Wax Museum
AJ and his class put on a wax museum last week at school.  He decided to be Dr. Suess for this project.  We spent some time on our snow days in February writing an autobiography about Dr. Suess.  Then we came up with a costume and AJ practiced a lot at school using his projection voice to recite his autobiography.  On Friday morning family members were invited to come in and "push the buttons" for the famous people.  It was very cute.  The kids did a great job of standing still until someone pressed their button (a piece of construction paper on the floor) and then they recited their autobiography.  Adrian, Zak and I had a fun morning and AJ did a great job!
AJ as Dr Suess
AJ & his buds from his class after wax museum
Mario Time!
The boys have recently re-discovered the Mario Brothers game we have for our Wii.  They are having a great time playing, even spent some of their allowance so we can have 4 controllers now and all play together.  I'm loving this as Mario is one of my all time favorite video games.  The only downside is that I'm playing a lot more video games and not getting as much done around the house.  I know this is only a phase and won't last forever so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Adult time
Adrian & I are trying our best to make time to spend together without the children.  We found a new babysitter so we got to go out on a date the other night and enjoyed our time together shopping at Costco and then eating at Melt.  We also had some time on our own with friends.  I had my retreat weekend last weekend and spent the weekend relaxing with my friends.  And he has gone out a few times after work with some coworkers to relax after their crazy schedule.

We have a busy 2 weeks ahead with my birthday this weekend, spring break next week and then Easter the following weekend.  AJ also has a music program this week.  Stay tuned for hopefully more regular updates!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 3/23 - 3/29)

I'm having a really hard time finding my groove and getting things accomplished recently.  I thought with spring here I would be more motivated.  And in some ways I am.  But I am starting to feel like I'm just dealing with putting out fires and can never get to a place where I'm doing the stuff to help keep the house running on a daily basis.

This is also effecting my meal planning since I keep changing things up and not making what I have planned to make.  This is OK once in a while, but it's happening too much recently.  It's leading to not good eating choices (eating out, buying frozen processed food).  I'd like to think things will change but the next 2 weeks are pretty crazy with my birthday, Easter, spring break & a few other extra things.

So my goal is to plan and try my best to stick with it.  And then seriously buckle down after spring break and Easter weekend and get back to my happy (organized!) place.

Here's what I'm planning on this week:
Monday - Creamy Spaghetti Squash (hold over from last week)
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Beef Teriyaki and String Beans (hold over from last week)
Thursday - Unstuffed Cabbage
Friday - Some kind of pasta to celebrate my birthday!!
Saturday - Freezer Meal - I'm at Zumba Toning training all day & know I won't want to cook.  I may stop & pick dinner up, we'll see how the week goes
Sunday - Pizza to celebrate my birthday!!  (yes, we celebrate all weekend)

Water Infuser Flavor - Lemon & Orange.  I planned to do this last week but came home & realized we had a ton of strawberries, so I used those instead.  The citrus keeps much better than strawberries.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 3/16 - 3/22)

I'm back after an unplanned two week vacation from blogging.  Life got a little crazy and I wasn't able to get a lot of stuff done that I normally do and blogging fell by the wayside.  I hadn't planned on a menu plan last week, but I didn't do any of my other posts either.

I've spent this weekend on my twice a year girls retreat.  It has been glorious!  We go away to Inspiration Bloom Inn for a weekend and just relax, eat, drink and hang out.  My friends all scrapbook but I haven't gotten into that yet.  I tend to bring my to do list that I never get to tackle and work on that.  I also watch movies (saw Gone Girl this weekend - awesome!), hot tub at midnight and did I mention drink??  I also don't have to cook for the 3 days, the Inn cooks, serves and cleans up for us.  Such a great weekend!
Snacks!  I had cheesecake twice and my first soda in months
Wine in a sippy cup for midnight hot tubbing!
But I'll be leaving here later this afternoon so it's back to normal life tomorrow.  I also have to reign in my eating.  It's been a month or so of eating like crazy.  I'm pulling it back now even though my birthday is in 2 weeks and I'll be eating lots of cake and pizza that weekend. 

Here's what we'll be eating this week to get back on track:
 Monday - Baked Potato Soup
Tuesday - Sausage & Cabbage - I don't like corned beef so I'm trying this for St Patrick's Day
Wednesday - Baked Chimichangas
Thursday - Hummus Crusted Chicken
Friday - Creamy Spaghetti Squash
Saturday - Freezer Meal - I'm hosting an oils class this night so I will be making some guacamole and other snacks with my oils.
Sunday - Beef Teriyaki and String Beans

Water Infuser Flavor - Lemon & Orange.  I haven't gone to the store so I'm using what I have in the fridge.  I drank this flavor all weekend and it was delicious.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (No Routine!)

We have been all over the place the past month, or at least that's what it feels like.  Between sickness, weather and schedules changing we can't find our routine and our groove.  I have talked before about needing a routine and I'm sure it's the best way for us to function.  AJ and I especially have a tough time when we don't have our routine.  He gets messed up and a little crazy, which makes it hard for me to deal with him. 

But I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We've had school so far this week, I'm hoping we're back to normal now, although there is a chance for bad weather later this week.  Ice skating for Zak and hockey for AJ both ended last week so we have far less commitments in the evening.  Right now the only thing the boys are doing is swimming lessons on Saturdays & everyone is OK with that.  They are taking a break until the summer & will pick up at least bowling then.  AJ wants to go back to hockey in the summer as well and Zak will probably ice skate again then too.

People always ask me how I do everything that I do and I honestly didn't have a great answer for them.  But now I know what the answer is.  Adrian helps get it all done.  He's normally done work by 3:30 which means he's home to help with dinner, homework, nighttime activities, bath, bed & clean up.  The past four months or so he has been working much later which means a lot (some days all) of that has fallen on my shoulders.  While I don't mind it at all, it is exhausting.  I can't keep a pace like that on my own.  If his work schedule doesn't calm down, the boys activities will be limited come fall for sure!

Here are a few pictures from our last week.  Not anything really exciting, just life moving along.  I'll take it!
Zak had his first trip to the dentist.  He was apprehensive at first but after Mom went, he was ready to go.  He did great, no cavities for either of us!

 AJ's team took third place in the end of the year ice hockey tournament.  They won their first game, but then lost the second one so they went into the consolation bracket for 3rd/4th place.  They had a pizza party between games 2 and 3 and kicked butt in game 3.  Maybe they should have eaten before game 2?

The boys are collected "Pennies for Patients" to help out children who have cancer.  AJ told me "There are kids who are very, very sick.  They need a lot of medicine and sometimes their families can't afford it.  I think even if they can afford it, they probably don't have much left for toys and those are important for kids too."  Love his heart!  We are collecting donations of any denomination all week.  Let me know if you'd like to support this great cause!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Disney on Ice)

So the past week has been rough on, but the boys have been loving life.  They have been out of school for 10 of the past 12 days.  That's a lot of days off!  Most of that has been due to freezing cold temperatures which makes it hard to do anything.  I've had to drag them to the gym with me for my classes, grocery shopping and even to the dentist.  It's been exhausting.  We also had three different snow storms come through in those 2 weeks so some of the roads are messy and hard to drive on.  And it's so cold that we haven't been able to go out and play in the snow.

But we did have a fun family day on Sunday when we went to see Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy at Nationwide Arena.  We got a pretty good deal on tickets & surprised the boys with them for Valentine's Day.  They were excited to go, until that morning then no one wanted to get up and moving.  We had a rocky start, left a few minutes late, hit a ton of traffic trying to park and our e-tickets wouldn't pull up on my phone.  We ran to our seats just as Mickey & his crew took the ice!

Lightening McQueen, Tow-Mater and the rest of the guys from Cars took the ice first.  It was pretty cool to watch the cars do tricks on the ice, although a little too familiar with the bad weather we'd been experiencing.  The boys really enjoyed this part as well.  My only complaint was that it was very short.  They are some of my boys favorite characters and they didn't have much ice time.  I know it's hard to drive on the ice, but it would have been nice to have them come out again in the 2nd half for another short time.

After Cars, Ariel and her crew took us "Under the Sea."  I love the music from this movie & really enjoyed the skating and performances for this.  The boys were less interested, but it still held AJ and Daniel's attention.  Zak started to lose it during this performance.  He was a little tired and he started to fall asleep so then he started crying to keep himself awake. 

Ariel was on for about 10 minutes or so and then came Tinkerbell and the Fairies.  I was worried about this part, figured the boys wouldn't like it.  I was actually thinking maybe we should do a bathroom and snack break.  But AJ and Daniel really enjoyed it!  I had to leave during this one because Zak was breaking down.  Daniel couldn't wait to find me at intermission to tell me how the story ended.

We walked around a little during intermission, took a bathroom break and got some snacks for the second half (pretzel for me & Adrian, nachos for AJ and popcorn for Daniel and Zak).  We also bought Zak a souvenir which kept him calm thru the second half.  He spent most of it like this:

The whole second half was Toy Story 3.  We all loved every minute of it!  We all knew the story and characters.  The music was fun and the skating was great.  I cried like a baby again at the end.  Even though I've seen the movie a ton of times, I still cry every time.  Again my only complaint is that this was pretty long, the whole second act.  I would have liked a little less Ken & Barbie and maybe bring the Cars out for another short skit.  But Ken & barbie were great too, so the show really worked.

Andy saying Goodbye = Me sobbing!
 All in all it was a fun way to spend our morning!  We spent way too much on souvenirs for the boys, but they are still playing with them over a week later so I'll say it was worth it.  I don't know if we'd see another Disney on Ice, we've pretty much seen all of our favorites now.  But we did see the ad for Marvel Universe Live coming in December and everyone is begging to see that!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 3/2 - 3/8)

It was a very weird weekend here, things didn't always go as planned.  I tried to get a bunch of stuff done today but it just wasn't happening.  At least Adrian had off all day today and we got to spend a lot of time together as a family.

I didn't feel like cooking yesterday after a long day of ice hockey for AJ (and all of us) so we picked up some Jets pizza on our way home and bumped our chili to later this week.  This week is the calm between the storms with very little going on, other than school, Zumba and work for Adrian.  I do have a few extra things to do so I'm trying to keep the menu fairly easy.

I will be taking next week off from meal planning.  I'm going away next weekend and am going to make it easy on myself and eat stuff that I have already in the freezer.  I also took advantage of our sub zero temperatures recently to defrost and organize my deep freeze.  We have a ton of food in there!  So we're just going to eat that for Mon-Thurs next week and then Adrian is on his own Fri-Sun.  I'll be back on 3/15 to link up for the following week when I'm hopefully recharged after a break from reality!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Freezer Meal of Meatloaf & Potatoes
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Tomato Ricotta Pasta
Thursday - Crockpot Chili
Friday - Humus Chicken or out.  We have a sitter this night, yay!  It will depend what time Adrian can leave work if we'll eat first then go out, or just grab something out.  My birth-month freebies are rolling in so we may use one of those.
Saturday - Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  I'll be at a Zumba jam all day and know I'll get home tired and hungry.  This with a salad will be perfect to refuel!
Sunday - Beef Teriyaki & String Beans

Water Infuser Flavor - Blackberry.  It was supposed to be blackberry/lemon but I put a few berries in, then got distracted by something and turned around and my 3 year old had filled the whole fruit chamber with blackberries.  He was so proud of himself I just couldn't bring myself to change it.  The lemon will keep until next week so I'll use it then. 

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!